Unlike other sports or games, chess could probably benefit the most with the advancement of the internet. With the internet you can sit in one corner of your room and play chess against other players from around the globe.
I have searched through the web on ways to play chess online. There are correspondence chess (or conventionally called e-mail chess) which I initially was hooked into. But I missed where the real action is with correspondence chess, that which to make the right move under the right amount of pressure—time.
Of course, there are also live/real-time/online chess available around. The most popular probably especially for newbies is the one from the Yahoo! Games, which is free but often lacks serious players (think about trash talks while playing). If you are a seasoned player, and wants serious play, you’ll most probably go to ICC or Chessbase’s Playchess.com, both of which also serve as online home for some famous Grandmasters, but then you have to pay a premium in order to access all functionalities within their chess servers. There was a new site lately, ChessCube, which uses flash in its web-based playground, but I find it too slow to load at start-up (although so far I experienced no problem during a game or two, but encountered errors while navigating the system).
I want to play in a competitive but free online chess community.
FICS: The Background
FICS stands for Free Internet Chess Server. You can check out the official website at freechess.org.
FICS is a volunteer-run internet chess server, and was organized as a free alternative to the Internet Chess Club (ICC) after the latter began charging for membership.
The first Internet chess server, named the Internet Chess Server (ICS), started in the 1980s. Volunteers coded and ran it free of charge. In 1995, administrators began charging players for membership and changed the name to ICC.
Unhappy with the commercialization of ICS, which they saw as exploiting their work, a handful of programmers, led by Chris Petroff (Sparky on FICS), formed FICS and gave users free, unrestricted access. The server debuted March 5, 1995.
FICS is a non-profit site, administered entirely by volunteers. There are over 310,000 registered accounts, and in the past 12 months the server has been accessed by over 73,000 users.
(to be continued)